ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Securing the Nation State as Terrorist

Kafkaland: Prejudice, Law and Counterterrorism in India by Manisha Sethi (Three Essays Collective), 2014; pp 228, Rs 350.

In mid-2006, two Kashmiri tea traders staying at a hotel in Karol Bagh were abducted by the police. Two weeks later, the First Information Report lodged followed a familiar pattern: a secret informer tipped off Ravinder Tyagi, an officer of the Delhi Special Cell about a large cache of arms being brought into the city via Jaipur in a blue Tata Indica. Tyagi led a team, intercepted the vehicle on the national highway and after a heroic encounter, which included cross firing and hurling of bombs, arrested the people in the vehicle.

The court noted the fake nature of the case while throwing it out. It enumerated the difference between legal arrests and the actual arrest, the turning of the hotel into a torture chamber, the coerced confessions, the undisclosed identity of the secret informer, the calibrated process by which the two traders were made out to be terrorists and the photo taken during the press conference which nailed the police and wherein “a smooth looking Tyagi and dazed looking accused, [were] separated only by a row of seized arms and explosives”.

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